Contestants designed and created their own meals and had to incorporate one required ingredient into each meal from entrees having to include seafood, main dishes having to include pork, and a bonus dish including taro. Three WITT staff including two hospitality tutors were invited along to the day to judge and score the dishes.
The day was filled with cultural celebration as the contestants, and their fanau were welcomed to WITT with a pōwhiri run by ākonga from a Te Reo Māori (Level 1) class who were on campus for a weekend wānanga.
Daniel Fuemana, Director of School Trades, Training, Primary and Creative Industries, was invited to be a judge on the day. Daniel said that hosting the competition is only a small part of our kaupapa to open our doors to the Pasifika community on campus.
“The day has been a very special day for the WITT and the Pasifika community and I hope it is only the start of many.”
“The Pasifika community in Taranaki have so much to offer and I hope we can continue to build our relationship with them. Not to mention the food that I have tried today has been absolutely exceptional.”
Josh Robertson, trustee for the Taranaki Vaimoana Pasifika Charitable Trust, was the MC on the day and watched closely as his wife competed. “Today we have not only been integrating cultures but celebrating them.”
“We’re so grateful to WITT for using their hospitality facilities. Without access to kitchens like this, we wouldn’t be able to have competitions,” he said.
Josh said that these opportunities provide an awesome chance to help the community maintain cultural cuisines and practice them in a New Zealand context.
This story features Samoan spelling of words.